This is Part 4 of the story on our new 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona Project Car. In future Parts we will update you on the Project Car itself and the restoration process. (Start with Part 1)
The following is a portion of the story as reported in the April 1977 Winged Warriors Newsletter:
“There are no speed limits on the autobahn so you can drive your car as fast as you want providing you don’t endanger other traffic. A stretch from Nuremberg to Ansbach was chosen as it is almost always empty, and is 45 kilometres long, more than enough room to accelerate, and slow down again.
Your speed was calculated at a specified point with signs telling you how far you had to go before reaching the timing point. The signs were put up by the club, and then later taken down again. Each sign was a different colour cardboard sheet 2 feet by 2 feet square. Reading number’s at super high speeds is difficult unless you have an eyeball like the six million dollar man! White meant 2000 meters, green 1500 meters, blue 1000 meters, and red meant 500 meters.
The best thing to do was to hold your foot to the floor as you approached the red sign, and this would assure you of having maximum rev’s when you reached the timing point. Walkie talkies were used at the start, and finish of the timed kilometre. The person at the first car would send a signal to the person at the end of the stretch just as you went by, and the other person had his finger ready on a Zeiss stopwatch, and would time you as you went by him. Doing around 250 km/h takes you 15 seconds to go one kilometre. That was the easy part. The hard part was trying to stop two tons of charging Daytona! At that speed brakes overheat, and fade out quickly.”
“The highest speed that the owner obtained in his Daytona was 163 mph with four speed, and 2.76 rear end. The engine was basically stock, and turning in the neighbourhood of 6900 rpm’s. The owner was amazed that it lasted the 14 seconds at such high rpm’s, and the motor did blow during another run. The best he could do with an automatic transmission was 158 mph.”
Because of this history or Project Daytona will hence forth be referred to as Project Nuremberg Daytona!
The third owner discovered that the 3.23 gear ratio was ok for the autobahn but not the best for drag racing. One day during a drag race against a new Porsche 911 Turbo (stoplight-to-stoplight) the 3.23-ratioed Daytona kept up with the Turbo door to door; but couldn’t pass the Turbo. This annoyed the new owner’s best buddy who was riding “shotgun” at the time. He was so annoyed that he actually searched out and bought the owner a used 3.91 posi “pumpkin” and gave it as a gift to the Daytona owner. There was one condition, the Daytona owner had to promise to take him out and hunt down another 911 Turbo to race. They did; more than once and were never beaten by any 911 Turbo or any other car after that.
During this ownership the car was again repainted; this time to solid white. The new owner was convinced by a greedy gearhead that the car was originally an automatic and should be returned to that condition. The Gearhead said he would be more than happy to swap his automatic for the Daytona’s 4-speed. It was done and the automatic stayed in the car for years.
Subsequently the Army family was relocated to Fort Carson (next to Colorado Springs) by US Army orders in September 1976. In late 1976 an ad was placed in the Winged Warriors Club. The following is a copy of the actual ad.